The price of a barrel of crude oil rose $1.34 to settle at $83.01 after China's General Administration of Customs announced the country's crude oil imports increased by 11% last month compared to its purchases in August. Also providing momentum for oil was the International Energy Agency (IEA), which increased its global oil demand forecast by 300,000 barrels per day through 2011. Now, the IEA forecasts global oil demand to reach 86.9 million b/d for 2010 and 88.2 million b/d for 2011.
Oil traded within a range from $81.68 to $83.45 Wednesday.
Natural gas, which has endured a slump recently on mild weather forecasts, rose 1.9% Wednesday as a result of profit-taking by traders as well as the sentiment that prices have bottomed out. November natural gas settled seven cents higher at $3.70 per thousand cubic feet after trading from $3.63 to $3.78.
The price of a gallon of gasoline increased by 2.4% Wednesday. The front-month price settled a nickel higher to end the day at $2.17. It fluctuated between $2.12 and $2.17.
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